You can’t win as a referee nowadays. Blackpool boss Ian Holloway feels his side have got “bo diddley squat” this season and after watching the Tangerines’ defeat to Manchester City on Sunday - you can feel his pain.
But look north of the border and we’ve had Celtic boss Neil Lennon ranting at referee Dougie McDonald following his side’s win over Dundee United.
If you’re not familiar with what went on, McDonald gave Celtic a penalty only to change his mind after consulting with his assistant. Lennon felt this was “unacceptable.”
“He's given the penalty and for me he can't change his mind,'' Lennon said. "I didn't get an explanation until the referee came over and spoke to me. His explanation was that his linesman had a better view of it and the keeper had played the ball. I find that unacceptable. He looked pretty adamant to me when he gave the penalty. He got a really good look at it.”
Replays showed that the revised decision was correct, as keeper Dusan Pernis had got a large chunk of the ball before making contact with Gary Hooper.
McDonald should be praised for being big enough to listen to his assistant and big enough to hold his hands up and accept his initial decision was incorrect.
What would Lennon prefer? That the ref makes a wrong decision and stands by it? In this case, clearly yes, but I bet he wouldn’t if the boot was on the other foot.
In an era when referees are under increased scrutiny and every mistake is headline news, let’s applaud them, rather than criticise them, for getting something right.
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|Alex Livie found his way to ESPN after learning his trade with Sky Sports, Setanta Sports and Eurosport. He is running out of companies with sport in their name so has made it his raison d'être to ensure ESPN.co.uk has the website it deserves.|
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